Two weeks left!
Just two weeks are remaining in the college football season and we have plenty of questions in terms of the postseason and plenty of games to sift through in our weekly top 25 picks against the spread, including three ranked vs. ranked matchups.
After a slow start to the year, we are back to .500 on our high volume of picks. Assuming -110 odds, we are down overall, but with two weeks left and a string of three straight positive weeks, there's still time to pull out a profit.
Let's get to it!
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Season Long Record: 95-95-4
No. 1 Georgia vs. No. 21 Tennessee Prediction and Pick
PICK: Georgia -10
Tennessee has been overrated all season long as sportsbooks try to catch up to the drop-off from last season's top-flight offense. Joe Milton is far too inaccurate of a passer to trust to pull a titanic upset of the two-time defending National Champs, even at home.
Milton is completing 37% of his passes of more than 10-plus yards this season which makes up more than a third of his passes. To beat Georgia, teams need to be explosive to match the top five in EPA/Play Bulldogs offense. Tennessee has proven not to be that, unlike last year's team that was ranked No. 1 in the country in the AP Poll in the middle of the season.
Tennessee's defense can get pressure, but the secondary remains questionable, 120th in completion percentage allowed and 65th in explosive pass rate.
I believe the Bulldogs can separate and get margin on the Vols en route to an easy win and cover.
No. 2 Michigan vs. Maryland Prediction and Pick
PICK: Michigan -19.5
Minnesota vs. No. 3 Ohio State Prediction and Pick
PICK: Minnesota +27.5
North Alabama vs. No. 4 Florida State Prediction and Pick
No. 5 Washington vs. No. 10 Oregon State Prediction and Pick
PICK: Washington +2.5
No. 6 Oregon vs. Arizona State Prediction and Pick
PICK: Arizona State +23.5
No. 7 Texas vs. Iowa State Prediction and Pick
PICK: Iowa State +7.5
Iowa State is going to try and muddy this game up and hit a handful of explosive plays to stun Texas and ruin the teams' chances to make the College Football Playoff. The Cyclones play at the 12th slowest pace in college football this season in terms of plays per minute and are top 25 in explosive play rate.
Texas is a formidable defensive line that is 20th in tackles for loss, eighth in defensive line yards, and allows about three yards per game. However, the team is bottom half of the country in terms of explosive play rate. The secondary can be had, but down-to-down, this is an elite defense.
I believe the Longhorns will do a good job against Becht and this fairly one-dimensional offense, but I'm not sure I trust the Longhorns to get margin on the road against a stout ISU defense that is top 15 in passing success rate allowed and 21st in overall success rate.
The Longhorns are below the national average in terms of explosive play rate and 46th in success rate. Now, the team has a quarterback still working his way back from a shoulder injury and lost its starting running back. Iowa State's 3-3-5 defense is great at limiting big plays and forcing teams to go the length of the field.
I like the under in this game, centered around Texas' inability to get margin on teams, and I believe the Cyclones keep this one within a score at home.
Chattanooga vs. No. 8 Alabama Prediction and Pick
No. 9 Louisville vs. Miami (Florida) Prediction and Pick
PICK: Louisville -1
Florida vs. No. 11 Missouri Prediction and Pick
PICK: Missouri -11.5
Rutgers vs. No. 12 Penn State Prediction and Pick
PICK: Penn State -20.5
Louisiana-Monroe vs. No. 13 Ole Miss Prediction and Pick
PICK: Ole Miss -37
No. 14 Oklahoma vs. BYU Prediction and Pick
PICK: Oklahoma -24
There are some quarterback questions in this one as to whether BYU will start Kedon Slovis or backup Jake Retzlaff, but if it's Retzlaff, the Sooners should roll.
The Cougars have been non-competitive in his two starts, losing by a combined score of 82-20. Now, the team welcomes a physical defense and an explosive offense to Prove that can overwhelm them yet again.
The Sooners had reached an inflated number in the market a few weeks ago and we saw the correction, losing two of three outright including three noncovers following the upset win over Texas. However, we saw the team look the part against West Virginia last week, winning 59-20.
While this may be a sleepy spot on the road for a 10 AM local kickoff, I believe there are simply too many weapons on the OU side not to lay the points.
The Sooners are a top 10 offense that is also 22nd in EPA/Play on defense and should give this BYU offense fits with its ability to rush the passer. Oklahoma is eighth in tackles for loss and second in turnovers gained while allowing touchdowns on only 46% of its red zone drives, the 18th-lowest mark in the nation. Given that BYU will have limited scoring chances, I expect the Sooners to get margin quickly.
BYU has nine sacks on the year and is allowing nearly six yards per play. OU should have little issue covering.
Georgia State vs. No. 15 LSU Prediction and Pick
PICK: LSU -31
No. 16 Utah vs. No. 19 Arizona Prediction and Pick
PICK: Arizona PK
Arizona has been one of the best stories in college football this season, out to an 8-3 record and a few bounces away from being undefeated. The team faces two-time defending PAC-12 champions Utah at home in the Utes' second straight road game.
Utah has had to deal with as lengthy of an injury report as any team in the country, and I believe it's going to catch up with them down the stretch after a near-win at undefeated Washington last week.
The Wildcats have emerged as one of the best defenses in the PAC-12, top 10 in EPA/Rush allowed. While Bryson Barnes has acclimated in nicely as the Utah starter, I don't trust him to thrive when he is in obvious passing situations after the Utah offense fails to get the team ahead of schedule.
Meanwhile, the Utah defense is still elite, but Noah Fifita and this Arizona offense is emerging as one of the most efficient in the nation. The freshman has the team's top 10 in success rate overall and will take care of business at home.
No. 17 Tulane vs. Florida Atlantic Prediction and Pick
PICK: Florida Atlantic +9.5
Appalachian State vs. No. 18 James Madison Prediction and Pick
PICK: James Madison -8
The undefeated Dukes welcome a streaking Appalachian State team that has won three straight while scoring 30-plus in all three. The Mountaineers have been incredibly explosive this season behind running back Nate Noel (nearly six yards per rush) and a passing game that can rip off chunk plays on a whim behind transfer Joey Aguilar. The team is 10th in EPA/Pass this season.
However, the team is going to run into a buzzsaw in James Madison, who is 10th in EPA/Play and second in overall success rate. JMU has more tackles for loss than any team in the country with 99 and is allowing less than five yards per play.
I believe the team will put App State behind the sticks far too often for the team to stay ahead of schedule while JMU should be able to touch up an App State defense that is in the bottom half of the country in success rate and outside the top 100 in explosive play rate allowed.
Wake Forest vs. No. 20 Notre Dame Prediction and Pick
PICK: Notre Dame -24
No. 22 North Carolina vs. Clemson Prediction and Pick
PICK: North Carolina +7
No. 23 Kansas State vs. Kansas Prediction and Pick
PICK: Kansas State -8
No. 24 Oklahoma State vs. Houston Prediction and Pick
PICK: Houston +7
Massachusetts vs. No. 25 Liberty Prediction and Pick
PICK: Liberty -27.5
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
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